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October 08, 2022 10 min read
If you thought weight training is the only way to build muscles, think again. Here we will explain 10 different bodyweight exercises for beginners that are safe and simple to do anywhere, without gym equipment or free weights.
Bodyweight exercises are precisely what their name states. Instead of using kettlebells, dumbbells, barbells, or other weights, strength-building exercises use your body weight to resist gravity.
Bodyweight exercises for beginners include lunges, squats, deadlifts, and more.
Some of them offer full-body workouts, and along with healthy diets they almost guarantee you will lose weight.
Without realizing it, we perform variations of bodyweight exercises in our everyday activities and movements. Therefore, the way we move and control our bodies is important.
For example, we lunge when we climb stairs, squat when we sit down, and deadlift when we pick anything up off the floor — even if it is picking up a child, we need body control!
The fact that you perform these movements all day long does not mean you do them well.
The lack of mobility and strength has caused many back injuries, strained muscles, and more.
Learning to master these suggested bodyweight exercises for beginners will energize you, make you stronger, and move about in control of your body. It might even encourage you to join a gym and get into more than bodyweight training.
Cardio warm-ups increase blood flow, thereby increasing oxygen delivery to the muscle groups you’ll be working out. Spend 3 to 4 minutes on any of the following warm-up exercises to get your heart pumping:
Try different combinations of these or other cardio routines you might favor. Focus on getting the blood flowing to all the different areas of your body by doing multi-directional and multi-joint movements.
The list of benefits of getting into a routine of bodyweight exercises is endless, but here are some of them.
The list of bodyweight exercises that follows can be done in any order. All of them are simple moves, aimed at bringing increased mobility, strength, and stability. Beginners should aim to do 2 sets of 10 to 12 reps of each exercise, with 30 seconds rest between sets.
The plank is an isometric core strength exercise that involves maintaining a position similar to a push-up for the maximum possible time.
It forms the basis of many other exercises.
Here’s how to do a plank:
Alternative version: For the High Plank version, let your weight rest on your open palms and hold your arms straight — Similar to a push-up position. Again, lift your body to form a straight line.
While planks focus primarily on the core muscles in your abdominals and lower back, they also work on your chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps, legs, and back.
However, the forearm plank position is more taxing on your core than the high plank version.
While you’re face-down on the floor, you may as well do some mountain climbing.
Here's how to do mountain climbers:
Mountain Climbers are a great cardio exercise that activate your legs, arms, and shoulders to work your whole body. It will also improve your core strength and get your heart rate up.
If you do inchworms immediately after the mountain climbers, you’d likely want to rest for 30 to 60 seconds because this is also a high-energy exercise. These are great for improving mobility in beginners.
Here's how to do inchworms:
The inchworm is a whole-body exercise that works your arms, legs, shoulders, and abs.
Now may be a good time to flip over on your back to work those glutes (aka Butt Muscles).
Here's how to do glute bridges:
Glute bridges are a great exercise to start increasing glute and hamstring strength. As you progress with these you can rev it up a bit by putting a dumbbell or other weight across your hips.
Stay on your back and challenge yourself to do some crunches. When you become confident with crunches, you can progress to full sit-ups where you lift your entire upper body up, rather than just your shoulders and upper back.
Here's how to do crunches:
Crunches are a simple exercise that will train your abdominal muscles.
The key to the deadbug exercise is ensuring your lower back remains fixed and your core is engaged throughout the movement to avoid injury.
Here's how to do the deadbug:
Deadbugs are a beneficial core exercise for beginners.
Bodyweight squats are simple enough to do just about anywhere because you need no more than standing space.
Here's how to do bodyweight squats:
Bodyweight squats are excellent for beginners because they work on your glutes, hamstrings, core, and quads all at the same time.
Jump squats are a variation of the normal bodyweight squat described above.
However, with the jump squats, you’ll use extra force to propel yourself into the air.
Here's how to do jump squats:
The movement of the jump squats improves your power and significantly increases your heart rate when you perform several reps in succession.
You will need a little extra room to do bodyweight walking lunges as you will be walking forward several meters.
Here's how to do bodyweight walking lunges:
Bodyweight walking lunges are great for improving leg strength, and they also increase balance and mobility.
We left this one for last because you need the confidence you hopefully built up doing the other 9 bodyweight exercises for beginners to tackle this one.
Even experienced exercisers sometimes cringe when burpees are part of their day’s workout routine.
Here's how to do burpees:
Burpees are an excellent full-body cardio exercise that will certainly get your heart pumping.
Take your time, be patient, and don’t overdo it to build strength quicker. Master the movements, and you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve without using anything besides your body weight. Your fitness level and existing muscle mass will play a part in your progress. You may want to consult a personal trainer to help you design a workout plan.
These are 10 of the best bodyweight exercises that beginners should master before progressing to more advanced exercises or lifting weights to build body strength.
The ability to move and control your own body weight is not only important for daily life but also as a foundation for all exercise and strength training you might move on to in the future.
Your diet plays a significant role in optimizing the benefits of your bodyweight exercises for beginners quest. Weight loss is a given if you also watch what you eat.
You might want to consider a healthy protein shake to pack on lean muscle and support strength levels, without unnecessary carbs.
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